Process Life Cycle in Operating System OS

Process Life Cycle in OS

Process Life Cycle in Operating System is one of the five states in which a process can be starting from the time it has been submitted for execution, till the time when it has been executed by the system. Here we will learn detailed explanation about each states.

A process can be in any of the following states –

  • New state
  • Ready state
  • Running state
  • Waiting state
  • Terminated
Process Cycle 1New State
Process Cycle 2Read State
Process Cycle 3Running State
Process Cycle 4Waiting State
Process Cycle 4Terminated State
  • Imagine a unit process that executes a simple addition operation and prints it.
Process queue

New State

  • Process it submitted to the process queue, it in turns acknowledges submission.
  • Once submission is acknowledged, the process is given new status.

Ready State

  • It then goes to Ready State, at this moment the process is waiting to be assigned a processor by the OS
Ready state

Running State

  • Once the Processor is assigned, the process is being executed and turns in Running State.
Running state

Wait and Termination State

  • Now the process can follow the following transitions –
    • The process may have all resources it needs and may get directly executed and goes to Termination State.
    • Process may need to go to waiting state any of the following
      • Access to Input/Output device (Asking user the values that are required to be added) via console
      • Process maybe intentionally interrupted by OS, as a higher priority operation maybe required, to be completed first
      • A resource or memory access that maybe locked by another process, so current process goes to waiting state and waits for the resource to get free.
    • Once requirements are completed i.e. either it gets back the priority to executed or requested locked resources are available to use, the process will go to running state again where, it may directly go to termination state or may be required to wait again for a possible required input/resource/priority interrupt.
  • Termination
Wait and termination state


  1. New – New Process Created
  2. Ready – Process Ready for Processor/computing power allocation
  3. Running – Process getting executing
  4. Wait – Process waiting for signal
  5. Terminated – Process execution completed

Apart from the above some new systems also propose 2 more states of process which are –

  1. Suspended Ready – There maybe no possibility to add a new process in the queue. In such cases its can be said to be suspended ready state.
  2. Suspended Block – If the waiting queue is full
Process Lifecyle in OS

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